- Structure-function analysis of membrane proteins by infrared spectroscopy : Porin OmpF, Porin OmpG and Betaine transporter BetP (2009)
- This study addresses the structure-function relationships of three essential membrane proteins: Porin from Paracoccus denitrificans, Porin OmpG from Eschericia coli and BetP from Corynobacterium glutamicum using Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy and Attenuated Total Reflection (ATR) techniques. The structure of porin from P. denitrificans is known for more than a decade; however, the mechanism for loss of functionality together with the monomerization was not clear. In this study we have addressed the role of lipids for the functionality of porin using FT-IR. OmpF porin was found to interact with the lipid molecules via the aromatic girdles surrounding the protein for functionality. In this study, molecular bonds and groups of the lipids were established as reporter groups probing at different depths of the bilayer in order to understand the interaction partner of the aromatic girdles of porins. Monomerization of the trimeric assembly of OmpF porin reconstituted in lipids is induced by increasing the temperature. Porin (OmpF) was found to be extremely stable: The secondary structure of the protein was unaltered up to the temperature-induced main transition, around 80-90 °C, above which it is denatured. However, the interaction of the aromatic girdle with the lipid molecules exhibited distinct changes at much lower temperature values (40 - 50°) where, according to the previous functional studies, monomerization and the loss of function occurs. The results are compared with OmpG porin from E.coli, for which the functional unit is a monomer. The aromatic girdle-lipid interaction was monitored by the tyrosine aromatic ring C=C vibrational mode, a universal marker for the protein stability and interaction. We have also found that the aromatic girdles of porins are interacting with the interfacial region of the lipid bilayer instead of lipid headgroups. Lipid-protein interaction was found to be not only essential for the structural stability, but also for the functionality of OmpF porin. We have also studied the structural properties of OmpG from E.coli. The structure of OmpG at two pH values has been resolved using X-ray crystallography and the channel has been proposed to attain different states at different pH values as closed (pH < 5.5) and open (pH >7.5). This study, using IR spectroscopy, revealed that the pH-induced opening and closing of the channel is reflected by the frequency shifts of the ? sheet structure. OmpG has more rigid ? barrel properties upon opening of the channel. IR spectral analysis revealed multiple ? sheet signals with different hydrogen bond strengths. This enabled us to monitor the formation of hydrogen bridges between the extracellular loops upon opening of the channel. The conclusion that OmpG porin having two states at different pH values was also confirmed by the three mutants where the role of the histidine pair (H231 & H261) and loop 6 has been addressed. Temperature-profiling of the wild type (WT) protein and the mutants did not show pH dependent structural stability differences in detergent solution. However, the WT protein was found to be more stable in the open form in 2D crystals than the closed form. Reconstitution into lipids has increased the transition temperature value by ~20 °C in the closed state and ~25 °C in the open state. Therefore we conclude that the open and closed state of OmpG has structural stability differences that are only revealed in the lipid environment. A comparison of the transition temperature values of OmpG WT and the mutants suggested that the hydrogen bond network among S218-H231-H261-D267, together with the formation of 12 residue-long ?-sheet contributes to the structural stability of the open channel. In the process of closing and opening of the channel, the globular structure of the protein remains mainly unchanged, while there are changes in the side chain moieties. In addition to the role of the histidine pair and the loop L6, in situ opening/closing experiments showed that the negatively charged amino acids, i.e. Asp and Glu, and Arg residues also play an active role; possibly by interacting with each other inside the pore lumen. Therefore it could be concluded that the closure of the channel at acidic pH values is not only via closing the channel entrance by loop 6, but also via changing the electric potential inside the lumen due to the different states of charged amino acids in order to effectively block the gateway. BetP from C.glutamicum attains an active and inactive state in order to adjust its glycine betaine uptake rate to the osmotic conditions that the cell encounters. The structure of BetP is not yet available. The WT protein exhibited structural differences in the presence of excess K+, which is one of the activation conditions. In 2D crystals, increasing the ionic strength to 700 mM K+ was shown to induce changes in the ?-helical moiety with contributions from the ester groups and one Tyr residue using ATR-FTIR. An increase in ionic strength to 220 mM K+ was found to be the threshold value of potassium concentration ([K+]) where the protein exhibits structural alterations in detergent solution. The determined [K+] values are in good agreement with the previous functional studies. However, there are differences in the activation profile of BetP in 2D crystals and in detergent solution, which points out that the lipids are involved in the conformational transition from the inactive to the active state and their absence can lead to different structural properties. BetP WT was found to have ~65% alpha-helix, ~25% random coil and ~10% turn structure in detergent solution. In the presence of excess K+, the WT protein is found to adapt more unordered structure. Secondary structure analysis of the mutants revealed that both the N- and C-terminus are in ?-helical conformation. Reconstitution of WT protein in 2D crystals increased the main transition (denaturation) temperature value from ~62 °C to ~85 °C, a clear indication that the protein is more stable in lipid environment. Temperature-profiling of the two forms of the WT protein revealed that the structural breakdown is preceeded by monomerization of the trimeric assembly. Comparing the two forms of the WT protein and the mutant BetA, we conclude that the oligomeric status is stabilized via the interactions among hydrophilic regions involving the N terminus. H/D exchange and activation with excess K+ in D2O-buffer revealed that activation of the protein involves the interaction of Arg and Asp/Glu residues in the cytoplasmic region of the protein. BetP WT and the two mutants tested, i.e. BetA and BetP?C45, showed differences in protein packing upon activation. The WT protein and BetP?C45 mutant also show changes in the hydrogen bonding properties of turns. Since BetA does not show such a property in activation, we conclude that the N-terminus interacts with the loops in the inactive state via the interaction of charged amino acids for the WT protein and that this interaction is altered during the activation. It could be argued that the protein packing is affected via the changes in turns upon activation. We also have found experimental evidence that one Tyr residue has different orientations in the active and inactive state of BetP. Based on the previous functional studies, it could be one of the five Tyr residues in the cytoplasmic region of the protein (in loop 3, 6, 7 or C-terminus). The mutant BetP?C45, on the other hand, showed fewer differences between the active and inactive state conditions and based on the H/D exchange rates, the mutant shows the properties of an active WT protein, proving that the C-terminal truncation impairs the conformational transition between the active and inactive states.